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Minecraft: The Island - 6-week novel study and Minecraft build-along

Course Description

First and foremost, this is a NOVEL STUDY course. As such, emphasis should be placed on reading the book, completing the discussions, vocabulary assignments, and comprehension quizzes. The Minecraft build-along is a "bonus" and should NOT consume your life! You can ALWAYS build-along according to the story after the book is done.


During the course, students will work to further develop their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and written expression skills while building in Minecraft as they read the novel “Minecraft: The Island” by Max Brooks. Depending on the personal preference and learning style of each participant, options are available to consider when reading the novel. Each student is responsible for purchasing the novel (audio, online, or print version).

1) Begin reading when the course starts (a pacing calendar will be provided, allowing for completion within the 6-week course)

2) Begin reading the novel prior to the course start date

3) Families can read along with their students at any reading level

4) Audio versions are also available for purchase online


During each week of this 6-week course, each student will be responsible for reading 3-4 assigned chapters (or have previously read) from the book, complete a weekly comprehension quiz over the assigned chapters, and participate in written discussion posts.


Every student needs access to a Minecraft account to participate in this class. Each week, students are encouraged to recreate scenes from the book by building with Minecraft in the private “QwestCraft” Minecraft server. Students that choose to not participate in the QwestCraft server can still build with their Minecraft account and post pictures of their creations to the discussion boards. *Each student will need their own ‘Vanilla’ Minecraft (Java edition) account to participate on the QwestCraft server. Minecraft accounts are not included with this course.


The course will conclude with each student writing their own version of what the next book in the series could be, and/or writing an alternative ending. As part of the final assignment, students will also build at least one scene from their story in Minecraft.


Course logistics: This course will follow a “flexible schedule” and does not have scheduled online meetings. This format works well since students live across many different time zones. This flexible schedule allows students to work at any time, 24/7, for the duration of the 6-week course. All students work at a similar pace but are not required to attend a set online class meeting time.


Each Monday morning (12:00 am Pacific) the tasks for the week will be unlocked and available to enrolled students via the free online Canvas portal ( Instructions on how to access the Canvas online classroom will be emailed prior to the start date of the course. The weekly checklists include reading assigned chapters, taking quizzes, writing online discussion posts, creating Minecraft builds, and posting those builds to the discussion forums. The teacher will participate in the online discussion forums to provide feedback and can always be reached via email and through Canvas. To stay on track, students should follow the provided pacing guide each week of which tasks and which chapters should be completed by the end of each week. Students should be sure to complete the weekly tasks before the next week of tasks are unlocked to stay on track.


*Class participants will receive access to the “QwestCraft” Minecraft server to create their builds for the duration of the course. To access the QwestCraft server, each student will need a 'vanilla' Minecraft account for PC/Mac. Minecraft for Windows10 will not work on the server and MinecraftPE (pocket edition for tablets) will also not work for this server. Purchase of Minecraft account(s) must be made separately and prior to the start of class. Instructions on how to build with Minecraft are not part of this course. Students with a few weeks or months of Minecraft experience through play or otherwise will have the skills needed to complete the builds in Minecraft. Participation on the QwestCraft server is not a requirement for this course. Students can still use their own personal version of Minecraft to create builds and then post pictures of their builds to the online Canvas classroom.

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